SHH has designed a new co-working space in Pudong District, Shanghai. Having recently designed a luxury serviced office in Guangzhou for the same organization, this latest offering is targeted at a young demographic of entrepreneurs and graduates. The brand name Cohesion was selected to describe a state of perfect synchronicity between different entities which intertwine and complement one another perfectly.
SHH's brief was to create well-proportioned, individually lettable cellular offices and exploit the striking 4.7metre high height of the existing building's structural ceiling and 55-meter width. The team took an 'urban' approach to the design by developing a grid of primary and secondary circulation routes, or 'streets,' which divided the floor into smaller urban blocks, with each block consisting of offices and meeting rooms, the 'buildings,' at varying heights and footprint sizes. The differences in height allowed the insertion of clerestory windows to borrow light from surrounding spaces, making the office interiors bright and welcoming.
"We carried out a study of local Shanghainese vernacular architecture to understand how large zones could be broken down into smaller cellular ones that meld density, privacy and intimacy with a sense of discovery," commented Brendan Heath, associate director at SHH. "This was an important part of the design as we hoped to foster networking and collaboration between businesses."
On entering the building, the reception area presents similar geometries to Cohesion Guangzhou, featuring angled timber fins in alternating stripes. Over the desk, a large Barrisol ceiling was installed to provide a uniform ambient light. The reception ceiling theme, which carries through into the C22 café and lounge area, features a series of hanging planters installed over the counter and seating area creating connections with the landscape outside.
To reinforce the sense of community and vibrancy, SHH carefully selected materials and furniture which gave the space an urban but welcoming feeling. A mixture of concrete, granite, and brick combined with touches of greenery and pebbles are utilized throughout. More domestic materials are soft, tactile and patterned, introducing colors drawn from the set of primary and secondary palettes that form the graphic identity of the Cohesion brand.
Photography: Shoucheng Liang